Mentor Text Monday: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus

Writing for Children Blog
February 29, 2016

What writers and Illustrators can learn from The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus...


How to...

  • Create a biography that fully engages the reader and involves the common core.
  • Interweave illustrations, words, and personality quirks to make a person come alive for a young audience.
  • Use collage to enhance the message of the story.
  • Organize intriguing backmatter.
  • Celebrate the power of words and education with story.

Amazing, astounding, breathtaking, extraordinary, impressive, marvelous, spectacular, wonderful, captivating. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus is all of this and more. The thesaurus has been a beloved companion of mine since childhood.  Learning about Roget and his list-making genius made me smile. This is a biography well told through the perfect interplay of words and illustrations.  We learn about the power of words and how Roget's thesaurus became what it is today. Jennifer Bryant artfully chooses the perfect words to describe Roget and his life. Roget's introversion, his need for the thesaurus to be accessible to all classes, and his drive to learn make him someone that I wish I could meet. This book includes some of the best back matter I've ever seen in a picture book: A list of principal events, author and illustrator notes, a list for further reading and an actual picture of the original word book. This book genuinely uses just the right words to make Roget's story come alive!

Happy Reading and Writing,


Kirsti Call  is the co-coordinator of ReFoReMo or Reading for Research Month, a research challenge and blog focused on mentor texts for picture book writers. Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, came out December 2013 with Character Publishing. She contributes to Writer's Rumpus and is a CYBILS panelist.


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